17 WEEKS (well, on Friday but I like to post these updates on Wednesday:)!!! Time is going by a little bit faster than it was in that first trimester (where each day actually felt like 5 days) and before you know it… we will be half-way there!
A few things about this last week of pregnancy:
*Sleeping on my stomach has come to an end. I have to say goodbye to my favorite sleeping position for a few months because it just isn’t comfortable anymore. Any good pillow recommendations? I need something for laying on my side!
*37 miles last week! Some on the treadmill, some in Park City and some around town. I think the treadmill will become more and more frequent in the next few months due to my bladder:)
*According to the internet (because the internet is always right), the baby now weighs 5 ounces and is the size of a pomegranate!
*Cereal suddenly doesn’t sound as good as it was (aka I probably overate it) but fresh fruit and mexican food still have my whole heart. Hot dogs have randomly made an appearance in my life with this pregnancy.
*I AM ALWAYS HUNGRY. The other day I told Andrew after eating a foot long chicken subway that I was starving again about 20 minutes later.
*I am positive I snore even louder than I did before… it wakes me up throughout the night ha.
*My chest no longer hurts but I had to go to the store and buy quite a different size bra than I normally buy;)
*No more morning sickness nausea but plenty of heart burn.. I still would choose heart burn over nausea any day though.
*I get up usually 2 times a night to use the restroom. Thank goodness I fall back asleep easily!
*WATER TASTES AMAZING AGAIN. Hallelujah. A big cup of ice water (80% ice please) sounds so good at all times. That was a rough few weeks of forcing myself to drink water.
*The kids still talk, pray for and ask about the baby each day! We are all going to a doctor’s appointment today together!
Honestly, breastfeeding has been something that has stressed me out a little bit from the very first day I found out I was pregnant. If you remember (I talk all about my experience HERE with breastfeeding and Brooke), I didn’t last long with breastfeeding with Brooke. For some reason I just could not get her to latch properly and so I tried pumping. She went crazy for the bottle and I just continued to pump everything. After a few months I lost my milk completely and I felt awful.
I felt like I completely failed in the nutrition department for Brooke. Also, formula was very expensive during a time where money was beyond tight and I felt like I must have been missing out on the bonding experience that occurs for a lot of women and their baby when they breastfeed. It’s silly, but I even get a little emotional just typing this out and thinking about it (then again, pretty much anything could make me cry right now). I just remember breastfeeding being such a hard experience for me and feeling like I was so alone in my experience because I just assumed it was so easy for everybody else.
SO you can imagine my mini anxiety when I think about it now… how is it going to work out this next time? Am I going to be a stress case again during those months of breastfeeding like I was for Brooke? Am I going to be constantly worried about drying up again? I’m sure I will a little bit but my I have gained a little perspective in this whole situation.
IT DOESN’T MATTER. All that matters is that I love this little one coming to me like crazy and do whatever I can to help him/her grow, learn and love.
I have actual PROOF that bonds between a mother and a child are more than okay if breastfeeding doesn’t work out… Breastfeeding didn’t work for Brooke and I and I think she and I have quite the amazing relationship. She is smart, talented, wonderful, kind and every other amazing adjective I can think of and she didn’t breastfeed/drink breast milk for long.
So what is my decision on breastfeeding this time around?
I’m going to try my hardest and be okay with whatever the outcome. I think a happy (non-stressed/worried/freaking out about breastfeeding) mom is probably the most important variable in this situation for us.
I am very hopeful that it will be a much better experience this time around too. Andrew is the best support system I could ever imagine (he actually just took a class for school all about breastfeeding so that is beyond nice too). I also live near my family this time. I felt like I had no one to reach out to when I needed help with this kind of stuff when I lived in California and this time I have all the help I could imagine. My life is much different now than it was when Brooke was a baby. My last reason that I’m hopeful I will be able to breastfeed for longer… I won’t be jumping back into running this time as crazy as I did with Brooke (i.e. running a 1:31 1/2 marathon when she was 6 weeks old). I do not blame running as a reason that my milk supply eventually disappeared (I think that pumping exclusively may have played a part of that) but I do think that this time I will not be running as much and I’ll focus WAY MORE on my hydration and calories each day which should help. I know plenty of women that run and keep a great milk supply, I just need to do my research a bit more this time.
I’m going to do my best but if breastfeeding doesn’t work again, I’ve got the proof that everything will work out more than okay so I can relax:) There are so many beautiful things in life to focus on and I’m sure I’ve got some mama strengths that I could focus on more than feeling bad about not being the perfect breastfeeding mom. I’ll do my best and let go of the things out of my control.
I would love to hear your breastfeeding experience!!
What about any good books/blogs/resources about breastfeeding? Any tips that you’ve learned to help me out in this department?
How was the second trimester for you if you have had kids?
I got a lot of comfort reading your HRG baby posts! I am 7 weeks along and am sick all day/no food at all sounds good. I’m glad to read that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! :-)
Janae!! So excited for you and this little one <3
For me, the second trimester was golden- energy, not too big and uncomfortable and I slept reasonably well! Oh, and running felt great!
Breastfeeding for me was challenging at first. He didn't have the greatest latch, and I ended up with blisters. (Sorry, tmi!) thankfully, coconut oil and lanolin (spelling?) helped and once he and I both figured it out, it was smooth sailing from there!
I've been running through nursing my son, but have eased into it super slowly. Although my miles are increasing, I haven't noticed any drop in my supply!
I hope you will be able to nurse as long as you want, but like you said, it doesn't at all define how good of a mom you are! I know you will be a great mama to this little one, (just like you are to Brooke and Knox!) regardless of your nursing outcome!
I totally get the breastfeeding stress. I have three kids. The first two absolutely refused to latch and I had no milk supply. I was sore, extremely frustrated and on the verge of postpartum from feeling so dang bad about my lack of supply. I can honestly say knowledge is power. I am currently exclusively pumping for my 2 month old and I can say as long as I’m pumping every 2 hours during the day and eating some oats, drinking tons of water and eating other things that help your supply I am just fine this time around. I heard a fact that a factor in breastmilk can cure cancer. How crazy is that? So when I’m feeling bad about things and get defeated I revisit that fact and it gives me the strength to get thru the next pump session. Either way you do what makes you feel best. I have 2 totally happy formula kiddos who are super bonded to me. Never quit on your worst day. You’ve got this mama!
I do not doubt that about breastmilk. My son has a blocked tear duct in his eye and I kept using an antibiotic from the dr but it kept coming back. I read somewhere to squirt breastmilk in his eye so i said it couldnt hurt! He has had zero problem with his eye in months. Dont think thats a coincidence!! Our bodies are amazing!!
I am so excited!!! I thought when you originally announced your pregnancy that you were about 2 weeks behind me but you’re actually only ONE WEEK behind me!!! wow!!! I’m so grateful to be able to read your experiences.
I had almost exactly the same experience with my first, it was very distressing and stressful time, I don’t really even like going there mentally remembering it all. I am (very early stages) pregnant with my second and am considering going to a lactation consultant with a view to her visiting me before I leave the hospital after delivery. I feel like if I have an expert there in the early days, who is there just for me and whose entire career is dedicated to breastfeeding, I may have a better chance.
Like you though I am grateful that I went through my first experience as my baby has thrived on formula and I know that if the bf-I got doesn’t work out again it won’t be nearly as devastating.
One thing that really gets to me when it comes to some people’s opinions on breastfeeding is that it is simply a ‘choice’ that you are in control of. The truth is far more complicated than that.
Hope you have a great pregnancy x
Do the lactation consultant! That was the best thing I did with my little girl. She came into our home in those first few days after baby and helped out. I thought our latch was fine (it wasn’t, but she had suggestions and it helped). We also found out that our little girl had a tongue tie. Two minutes with an ENT and one more consult with the lactation consultant and I have the best fed baby with no pain or frustration for me. If only sleep had been so easy….
Yes! Have the name and number of a lactation consultant before you bring your new little one home. Make an appointment with her as soon as you can after delivery so that she can be there from the start. I waited way too long with my first to ask for help. When I had my second, I had help already lined up – just in case. Also, she brought a baby scale and would weigh my baby before and after feeding to reassure me that he was eating properly. So reassuring!!
I only breastfed my first son for 4 month, my second for 12 and then my third son and first and only daughter for 2 years each so it got better each time. I think nowadays they have lactation consultants in the hospital. If not you should be able to find one. I know proper hydration is key:0) All of my children turned out fine too, not matter how long they nursed!! I wish you the best, these are fun times!!
I honestly think you will rock breastfeeding this time around (and as you state, doesn’t matter if you dont). You were extremely thin last pregnancy and right after Brooke! You are still very thin but look strong now. I hope that doesn’t come off the wrong way! I think it is evident that personal stress plays a huge role in breastfeeding and now you will have Andrew as an incredible support system for you. You’re a wonderful mom and so happy to see you with someone who clearly cares so much for you!! Xoxoxo
I love reading your pregnancy posts! I have a six week old baby boy! I used the Snoogle pregnancy pillow- I loved it because it provided a lot of back support and kept me on my side (another stomach sleeper ?) but rolling over was an ordeal.
Best of luck with breastfeeding- my daughter latched great and we had no issues, but I almost gave up with my son. His latch wasn’t great for the first few weeks which made it very painful. Having 2 very different experiences myself, I can say that every baby is different!
And a 1:31 half at 6 weeks postpartum? You’re amazing. I did my first 2 miles a few days ago at a 10 minute pace ?
I have 4 kids. (4 month old, 3, 5, and 6). I had a very similar breastfeeding experience with my first. She wouldn’t match, so I just pumped and my supply tanked early on. When my second came, I was a little more determined to make it work. He didn’t latch easily, but I really, really worked at it and eventually he did! I nursed him for a full year. (I still say that was seriously one of the hardest things I’ve done!) My third was a similar experience to #2, maybe a little easier. Now…#4 came out and he latched on immediately with zero problems! When women talked about that with their babies, I thought they were making it up! Lol. I’m hoping you have that experience!!! :)
Also, I started running 6 weeks postpartum with my last baby. (C-section) I’ve been running about 20 miles a week with no milk supply problems so far!
So happy for you and love reading about the pregnancy!! :)
Love your pregnancy updates!!
I successfully breastfed my first 13 months and am currently (like right this second! Ha!) nursing my 3.5 month old. No matter how you feed your baby she will be so lucky to have you as a mom! But here are some things I learned in my journey.
Work with a laceration consultant to get a great latch from the beginning! My first had a shallow latch and it tore me up so bad it was incredibly painful. We adjusted, I healed and suddenly it hurt so much less haha.
Eat oatmeal for breakfast
Drink tons and tons of water
Make these amazing lactation cookies. I save them as a treat for when my kids are napping. They almost work too well!
Remember that nursing burns tons of calories that need replaced. I believe you can run a good bit while nursing you just have to really work to replace the water and calories you lose. For me, I stick to training for only half marathons during this time.
From the beginning I am obsessive about building milk supply so I feed my baby every 2.5 hours even if I have to wake her for about the first month maybe. Not everyone agrees with that but it definitely helped me!
When baby gets on a schedule and starts going to sleep early, I do a dream feed before I go to sleep. So baby eats around 7:30-8, I top her off around 10:30 so if she’s sleeping through the night my milk supply doesn’t drop too low. My kids are good sleepers so I wake before they do and pump too!
Good luck! No matter what happens enjoy your baby! That’s most important!
I had a very similar experience breastfeeding my son. There were a combination of factors that lead me to pump and feed, which I had mixed feelings about (so happy to provide breastmilk, but sad to spend SO MUCH TIME PUMPING rather than holding Ben or playing with Ben; etc.) — I did that for 9 months before we switched 100% to formula. You are absolutely right — it does not impact your bond if you can’t directly breastfeed! :D It’s all totally awesome to me — that our bodies can provide for our kids, and that we have formula for our kids if needed, too. Here’s hoping for a different experience for you this time around! :)
I ran 2 marathons before my son turned 11 months (second was a PR), went back to work full time at 12 weeks, and I am STILL BFing him at just over 12 months. I was really stressed out in the beginning and omg I HATED BFing for the first month or so, but it’s worked out great and I have no hard plans to wean. I do feel like I was 10x hungrier BFing and running than pregnant (and I was a hungry pregnant woman), so I didn’t have a choice in keeping up my calories. I was also always thirsty, and honestly, drinking enough fluids was pretty hard until I went back to work.
In retrospect, I stressed myself out a lot exclusively breastfeeding for the first 5 months. I even woke up in the middle of the night to pump sometimes because he drank tons of milk through bottles every day. I finally gave in and gave him some formula at 5 months and it took a lot of pressure off of me to have that as an option, and some days he’d have formula, some days he wouldn’t.
My husband and mom were HUGE supports in the early BFing stages as well. But I think you’re on the right track not wanting to stress yourself out! That’s the key!
I breastfed my first until she was 1. Mostly out of pressure from the WIC people. My second lasted 4 months before I lost too much weight (I was 87 lbs!!) my third I lasted 6 months. But honestly, if I had another I’m not sure I’d breastfeed at all. I just have had the hardest time liking it. My first wasn’t that bad but I remember with my second I felt so frustrated because I felt like I was spending so much time nursing and no time with my first daughter. Since then I’ve felt negative about it.
well i don’t have any personal experience, but I work as a nurse and have sooooo many friends with babies! and here is what I can tell you..
do what is best for you! dont’ let people pressure you or feel guilty pushing that “breast is best.” if it doesn’t work for you..it doesn’t work – DON’T let people get to you – there are PLENTY of great formulas out there!! go with your gut :)
Snoogle Pillow saved my life when preggo! Worth every penny!
I pumped/supplemented with formula for the first three months of my little girl’s (also named Brooke!) life – she was unable to latch as there was just nothing there to latch onto but my supply also started to dry up right around 3 months. She went through a spell where she started sleeping really long stretches at night and as a result I did too and didn’t pump every few hours at night. I felt supppppeeeerrrrr guilty as well, but not just about losing my milk but that I was happy that I got so much free time back from pumping for half an hour every 2-3 hours. However I realized I had to get over it and that my girl would be just fine on formula and so far she is a super happy, super smart little 15 month old girl. I’m a strong fan of ‘fed is best’, whatever way your baby gets nourishment will be perfect for you!
The book I would suggest would be How My Breastfeeding Experience Unfolded written by Janae B. starting the birthday of baby #2.
Trust God knows the desire of your heart, and it will unfolding exactly as it should……..whether it is one feeding or for the whole year.
Be careful of putting too many rules on yourself, just listen to your body. It will let you know if you need to cut back on miles or hydrate more etc.
Love you Janae, and remember just like running…….we can follow the training plan to a T and still encounter the unexpected on race day. That is the excitement in life.
You are so brave to bring up breastfeeding online because wow, there are some strong opinions out there! I breastfed both of my kids and it was great but I know it’s not so easy for some people. At one point I was breastfeeding and 3 months pregnant (my baby had major allergies and the ped said to breastfeed for as long as possible because he couldn’t have cow’s milk and the formula he could have was crazy expensive but then my OB said I had to stop for baby #2) the hunger was out of control. I found malt really helped my supply. And lots of water.
Congrats on being almost half way!! I am currently nursing a 12 week old and boy was it a journey! I can honestly say those first 4-6 weeks were the hardest of my life. We dealt with low supply, oversupply, a poor latch, a sleepy baby who never woke up to eat (meaning he was TOO hungry by the time he was at the breast), and maybe some reflux. After 6 weeks it got WAY better and we aren’t needing bottles at all. But I wanted to quit every.single.day. Multiple times a day. I stuck it out because I am THAT stubborn and we went to occupational therapy and felt like I would be wasting time and money if I didn’t see it through. If I hadn’t had such a strong support with my mom, MIL, and husband, I would have quit. Your support system is everything. Something that “should be natural” doesn’t mean its not hard to get the hang of!
I bet this time around will be totally different with all of your support!!! And if its not, a fed baby is best. Good luck and I can’t wait to hear the rest of your journey!
I think it’ll be so helpful having Andrew there helping out this time around – that’s awesome that he took a class on breastfeeding – super helpful and he will be very supportive. Definitely hydrate a lot! I ran the most while nursing wth my 3rd baby and did sort of feel like my supply was lower for her the whole time but that may have been different factors than running, who knows.
All that to say – know that you are an awesome mom no matter how it works out. I nursed all my babies but there is no way other moms love their kids less if they use formula. and at the end of the day that love is more important and lasting than however babies get fed or birthed or diapered or any of the ridiculous ways people make moms feel bad. :) just enjoy it and don’t let anyone or any other blog or social media make you feel guilty in any way :)
Amy @ FitnessMeetsFrosting
I want to make it very clear that I am NOT judging anyone for their decision to breastfeed or formula feed- it’s none of my business :) BUT I did want to share that my mother-in-law is a lactation consultant+RN! I highly recommend you reach out to a lactation consultant if breast feeding is important to you :) She has helped SOOOO many women who thought they could never breast feed or became defeated! I wish you were still in the Bay Area because that’s where she works :/ Best of luck <3
If it helps you: I highly recommend going to a lactation consultant. I had to with my second child. The consultant was a miracle worker. If you need to: go to more than one if the first doesn’t work out. It was such a relief (referring to the worry you referenced).
I ended up nursing my first one a year but I had to supplement a lot. My second one I nursed 13 months. However I had mastitis 10 months of the thirteen.
So I struggled a lot and was envious of the women that actually have enough milk to DONATE!?
Anyway a lactation consultant may be a wonderful thing for you if the next baby doesn’t latch right away. ??
Also yes, NO JUDGEMENT either way. I was just sharing in hopes to let you know we all have challenges. Babies only need love doesn’t matter the other details- ?
Wow! You are truly amazing. I know that this wasn’t an easy post. There is so much pressure to breastfeed and sometimes it just doesn’t work. I am a mommy of three 10, 8 and 5. I tried so hard with my first and it just didn’t work. It didn’t work for me or him. When I got pregnant with my second I knew I didn’t want to go through it again and people were so judgmental. There was so much pressure. I didn’t breastfeed either of my other two. You are 100% correct You can have the same bond with or without breastfeeding. I haven’t had a baby in 5 years but this is dear to my heart. Thank you for writing this. Don’t listen to others, do what is best for you and your baby. That’s all that matter.
Also yes, NO JUDGEMENT either way. I was just sharing in hopes to let you know we all have challenges. Babies only need love doesn’t matter the other details- ?
Having a kind, supportive, and encouraging laceration consultant is so important! I didn’t realize there was so much to learn when it came to breastfeeding, and having someone help you may make all the difference. She came by my hospital room hours after I had my kiddo and really boosted my confidence about breastfeeding. Don’t know if I could have continued without her! I had the same mindset of “if it works great, if not that’s ok too,” and fortunately it worked out. Get that support system in place and then try not to worry about it. A fed baby is the best kind of baby ;)
Hi there! This is my first comment, but I have been reading for a while. :) I breastfed for a year, and ran nearly all that time. I found that I needed to drink a TON of water to keep a good milk supply. In fact, I kept a huge plastic cup of ice water near me all the time. Eating plenty also helps. I did not lose my supply when I pumped either…For me, breastfeeding was initially rather painful and frustrating. But it improved after a few days/week, and it became quite wonderful and much easier than managing all that pumping equipment or even bottles and formula. Best wishes!!
Omg obviously meant lactation NOT laceration ?
TV, social media, etc make breastfeeding look so easy. It’s not! I cried the first couple days b/c my daughter wouldn’t latch. I thought I was going to starve the kid. My sister had to come over to calm me down. I didn’t want her to leave! Some days were painful, some days were just bliss. It’s hard work no matter how long you make it work. Kudos to all moms who at least try. You’re surrounded by such a great support system now I’m sure things will go much easier. You know the drill. Stay hydrated, get good calories in and you’ll be fine.
I had twins two years ago. I exclusively pumped and then switched to formula. You have to do what is best for you and that sweet little on the way!!! I think being as stress free as possible and having the attitude about it that you have is the best way to go. You are so right about the relationship….you can tell Brooke adores you and likewise you her. My second trimester never rendered the energy (everyone told me it was because there were two), but the morning sickness finally gave way!! Like you I craved all the fruit I could eat. I love following your blog and the insight you share!
I had a traumatic labor experience that left me with no supply. My little guy was in the NICU for a few days with low blood sugar so we had to supplement right away. I tried for 6 weeks to increase my supply enough to breastfeed him but it just never came. I’d try to nurse him, use the supplemental nurser system, bottle feed and then pump…every 2-3 hrs. My whole day revolved around trying to feed him. Once he was diagnosed with milk and soy intolerance I went to straight (special) formula. I wasn’t producing enough to make it worth me giving those up in my diet. I hope the next time around it works for me and I pray it works for you too.
Feeding your baby is better than not feeding, so no matter how you do it you are doing the best thing you can! I feel like all women struggle with something when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood. I luckily have had wonderful experiences with breastfeeding both of my boys, but I still get depressed thinking about the fact that I had a c section and then another c section after a failed VBAC- both of my babies failed to descend and my midwife told me I may just not be able to push out a baby. I can’t help but think that I failed them even though they both came out healthy and happy.
If you are looking for some amazing resources on breastfeeding I highly recommend Kellymom.com it is amazing and can answer all breastfeeding questions out there!!
^^^ I was just scrolling through to see if anyone recommended this website; I definitely second it! My lactation consultant put me onto it and it is a great resource. If you can find a good lactation consultant, that can be huge too! My LC, huge family and friend support, and a prescription for domperidone were the only reasons I was able to establish an EBF relationship with my babe. We are now weaning by choice at 9months. Get your babe checked for lip and tongue ties right away! Often this is something that is overlooked. <3
I exclusively pumped with my first daughter and we went 8 months it just takes some serious dedication! It was not easy and very stressful but I just kept going! My sister struggled hard with her first and eventually gave up after a couple months, she just had her second and it was sooo much easier for her this time! She said she knew what to expect a little more the second time around and very baby is completely different!! Best of luck to you!!
You are more than welcome to message me about breastfeeding. I’m certified in lactation. After I had my first I figured there had to be a better way because it was SO difficult. I didn’t realize that a lot of the information I got when in the hospital that completely overwhelmed me was actually super outdated info. So I went back to school for it to help other mommies out. Let me know if you want to chat about it or need help when your little one comes.
I was a cow when I had my little boy! So much milk. Then when he was 4 months old my husband and I both got a horrible stomach bug. I’m talking BAD. Looking back we should have both gone in for fluids as nothing would stay down for a good 3 days. My supply TANKED- I was so sad! I still could feed him some- we had a morning session and I could pump about 10oz (he needed about 16) while at school. Then night nursing, and middle of the night. I was ok with this and knew that many couldn’t even do this!
Baby #2 is due dec 11 and I’m hoping I get to nurse this one as well BUT I’m not going to stress if I can’t. We have wonderful formula and a fed baby is BEST! Nursing is wonderful but I do think way to many mamas stress about it. Honestly I liked it because it was easier than washing bottles BUT it also meant I fed him, every time. Even if he got. Bottle I still had to sit down and pump or hate life in a few hours!
I read this as I’m breastfeeding my 9 month old.
Get the La Leche League book. It’s the only one you need. Read it before baby comes. KellyMom.com is a good resource.
Ever pregnancy is different. Every baby is different. Every breastfeeding experience can be different. You can do this.
I think so matter what your experience is with breastfeeding you always worry about the baby. With my son, we had a very successful breastfeeding experience, lasting well over a year and we only stopped because I got pregnant again. But I also worry about the what if’s – did we nurse too long and now my body won’t produce like it did before. And every child is different and maybe the new one won’t be as successful. I do strongly believe that what made it possible for me to have such a successful experience is that early on I reached out to a breast feeding support group through the hospital I gave birth at. Every Friday, I would go and be able to weight my son before and after nursing to be able to tell how much he was eating and able to see how much weight he was gaining every week. Also it allowed me to talk to other moms and when he got older, give reassuring advice when they worried. Without the group, I probably wouldn’t have made it past the first few weeks. I had/ have a flat nipple on one side and my son couldn’t latch and I became engorged and the lactation consultant gave me a nipple shield and we used it for the first 3 months.
Also make sure you get a good breastfeeding pillow, I highly recommend the brest friend pillow. It’s 200 times better than the boppy.
I am about a week ahead of you, and I got a Snoogle! Best investment ever! I can wrap it around me and have support for my knees, back and head! Also, a lot of my friends have struggled with the breastfeeding debat, and as long as your child is being fed then no one should make you feel bad about the decision that is right for your family. If they do, they have too much time on their hands!
Breastfeeding was hard/painful (sore and bleeding) and frustrating at first but got better. I think things will be so much better for you this time because you have so much better support. I gave up on it after 9 months because my babies slept longer with formula and I missed my sleep. Best of luck!
I also had a bad experience breastfeeding my daughter–she ruptured a blood vessel (in me) and was spitting up blood, wouldn’t latch, didn’t get enough milk, so we switched to mostly bottle feeding after a week. I ended up partially bf her for ten months and it was so stressful. My son is now 7 months old and exclusively breast fed. No bottle. It’s crazy how different the experience has been. I don’t know if it’s kind of what you were saying, I’m just not as stressed about it? Or he’s a better bf’er? I also trained for and qualified for Boston in the first 6 months of his life, and never had supply issues. Complete 180 this time!
I pumped exclusively with both kids. Me and my husband took the class and even then I was nervous about having to worry about whether I could hear swallowing sounds and counting wet diapers. I was worried about if I could remember these things when I was sleep deprived (I do not do well with little sleep – who does?!). And I did have a friend who had to go back to the hospital because her daughter wasn’t getting enough. But I told myself I would give it a try.
In this hospital my daughter couldn’t latch and I was having trouble holding her because of the c-section. So they gave me a pump and in the 4 days I was in the hospital I started getting some. My insurance covered a pump – my parents picked it up and it was waiting for us when we got home. I joke that my milk came in on the way home from the hospital. I wish I had taken pictures – wow! We ran around sterilizing everything. Once my milk came in I liked that I could see what was being produced and that night I googled “exclusively pumping” and the next day, when she was 6 days old, we went to BAbies R Us to get lots more bottles and horns.
The next day the lactation consultant came to my house and diagnosed her with a tongue-tie, but she was able to get my daughter to latch and feed a lot. But by then I was addicted to pumping. I would never have exclusively pumped if I didn’t have such a good supply. In the height I was pumping 50 oz a day. I am a data person, that is what I do for work. It was a total high to keep track of each pumping session (I still have all my journals). I only had to pump in the middle of the night for 1 week, then went to 6 am, 10 am, 2 pm, 6 pm, 11 pm. My husband, the night owl would feed her at 11 pm.
Alas I didn’t pump exclusively for a year – I pumped for 6 months but had some formula mixed in, so she did get major it breastmilk fir 9 months. I gave up because I wanted my body back and I wanted more sleep. And I wanted to go back on the normal Pill – I didn’t feel secure with the mini-pill – I hated having to take it at the same time every day which sometimes meant waking myself up to take it.
With my son I didn’t even try to breastfeed. I had the supplies and the system down. At 2 weeks old he was diagnosed with reflux. The words “dairy-free” did cross the Pediatrician’s lips once but thankfully I didn’t need to do that. I wouldn’t have lasted a day! And the special formula is expensive. With him I pumped for 9 months and he got breastmilk for a year with a little formula mixed in. I did it longer for him because he was born in march and I wanted him to get breastmilk through the next winter, while my daughter was born in August. And we didn’t have to worry about the Pill because we only wanted 2 kids so my husband go snipped when my son was 8 months old.
I didn’t worry about the bonding by not breastfeeding. I was worried about the bonding because I fall asleep hard with narcotics so with both I felt like I slept for the first 3 days – they gave me the drugs every 3 hours and I felt like I slept for 2 of them. But that didn’t have a long term affect either!
So do what you need to do for you and the baby and your family and don’t let anyone else’s opinion matter – the child will turn out the same no matter what.
I’ve heard the Snoogle is a pregnant woman’s best friend! Keep in mind I turned 22 on Monday and am not at the point in my life where I am trying to have a baby but from the blogs I’ve read it’s amazing.
Also, I totally agree with what you say about breastfeeding. I think social media makes it seem like if you don’t breast feed then you aren’t a good mother but that’s definitely not true in my opinion! There are some things that a mother can not control (i.e. the milk supply or the baby latching). As long as you are feeding a child the nutrition they need then who cares if it’s from breastmilk or formula.
Hey congrats! I had such a hard time BFing with both my kiddos and pumped with my first as a result of latch anxiety. Agree pumping is just not as efficient at milk removal as the baby. I swear my boobs could tell the difference and would just close up shop whenever I tried to pump. And I think latch is such a common problem at first because their mouths are so tiny!! With my second, the THIRD lactation consultant we saw was casually like, “oh you might need to pull her chin down a little to help get her mouth open wide enough” and boom! WHY DIDN’T ANYONE ELSE TELL ME THAT. The best advice I got was don’t drive yourself mad but don’t give up on your worst day. Check out the kellymom support group on FB. They’re so wise and totally nonjudgmental. Find an IBCLC; many hospitals have free support groups that meet weekly and offer weight checks on a baby scale before and after nursing so you know exactly how many ounces they took in. Our pedi also let us stop by as often as we wanted for free weight checks. It was such a relief in those stressful first days to know she was gaining! And don’t ever worry about overfeeding/spoiling baby with the breast…when in doubt, whip it out lol. Sorry for the wall of text, just a handful of things I wish I’d known sooner. Whatever happens you’re a wonderful mum. ;)
Hey Janae! Just to add to the pile of suggestions for you to sort through, but do you have something similar to these available? https://www.breastmates.co.nz/hydrogel-breast-discs
They were such a life saver on the blisters in the first few weeks for me, and they work within a few hours. Makes latching a lot less toe curling painful! I’ll post some over for you if you can’t get hold of them – can’t stand the thought of any one suffering through that blister pain for any longer than they need too!
My experience with my first child mirrors yours exactly (minus the 1:31 half marathon 6 weeks out). I couldn’t get my son to latch properly, we had my son have minor surgery to remove a lip tie (on doctor recommendation), and he just kept losing weight. I had lactation consultants and nurses in my ear 24/7 for the first several days, and I think I was just so stressed out that we couldn’t get breastfeeding to work for us. I had a cesarean after 26 hours of labor, and I think I was already disappointed in myself, that I put a lot of pressure on myself to get nursing to work, but we couldn’t ever get a good latch.
I tried pumping, but I could just never get enough milk to feed him, and my supply kept decreasing, even after the doctors put me on a prescription medication to increase my milk supply (side effect: depression…really?), and taking something like 24 Fenugreek seed pills a day, it still wasn’t enough, and I felt like I was losing bonding time with my son. I gave up after about a month and a half.
I’m currently 20 weeks with my second little boy, and while I plan on trying my hardest to nurse, along with some pumping, I know that formula is always an option, and I don’t plan on blaming myself this time. New moms have enough stress without having to put more pressure on themselves.
The best thing you can do is be there for your child and love him or her, and the rest will follow.
Oh girl BF is TOUGH. I remember a friend visiting while we were still at the hospital, and when I said it was time to nurse, they just assumed I could go ahead and throw a cover over me and get nursing. LOL sorry, not quite. I agree with everyone encouraging the lactation consultants. I used them as much as possible before we left the hospital, and had friends who went back to see them after they left. They can be super helpful! I’ve had to pump almost exclusively since going back to work at 3 months ( my son is now 9 months) and it’s worked out fine so far. I will say my supply is super sensitive to stress, water and carb intake. I eat lays every morning and I swear it helps! Good luck and don’t stress! Your sweet baby will be just fine if formula is the best route for you!
Also, the snoogle was my bestie. My husband stole it multiple times for himself, too. Get one!
I get emotional reading this because breastfeeding is so important to me! With my daughter I went 21 months and I am currently breastfeeding my 7 week old. I have found a lactation consultant to be invaluable. The challenges of breastfeeding change over the course of time and having a professional to help out saved my daughter and I a few times. I was also able to donate excess milk to babies in need which was incredible. I met the best moms and babies. It was a LOT of work to succeed but it was a greater accomplishment than any other to me. My husband absolutely made it possible by pulling double duty cooking, cleaning, etc while I fed and pumped. It was worth it to him too! Now that you have a supportive partner, I’m sure you will be able to feed your baby however you want!
^^ I eat oats, not lays. Haha
breastfeeding came naturally to me, but I would say take classes! Take multiple classes from multiple people – we took two before our baby was born – and then before you leave the hospital, visit with a lactation consultant. Then meet with them again in the first few weeks. We loved all the different perspectives and talks about different holds, tips, tricks, and just support
You do what you have to do and don’t have to justify it to anybody. It’s between you and Andrew. I had a friend that couldn’t nurse her first and made it a year with her second. I made it 9 months with my first, and I was teaching, and with my second made it barely 6 months. I was shocked because I stay home now, but we were moving to SLC, a close friend died suddenly, and I got mastitis, and my supply tanked. They say stress can really affect it. I felt like a failure although deep down I know it’s not the end of the world. Costco formula is amazing though. $18 and its huge, last about 2 weeks and we had no issues with it.
I had the same latch issue with breastfeeding my son. We just couldn’t ever quite get it right. So, knowing that I wanted to try to breastfeed him as long as possible, I set myself to pump every 2 – 3 hours while I was on maternity leave.
Because your milk production is based off of supply and demand, I would increase the time pumping by 10 seconds every other day to tell my body it needs to produce more to keep up with my son’s growing needs. By the time I went back to work after 8 weeks, my body produced 40-50oz every day and I had two freezers packed down with frozen milk.
I kept up the routine until 12 weeks, at which point my production was established and I could back off on pumping so frequently. It was a lot of work, but I was able to breastfeed him for 9 months.
I could tell a difference on days I didn’t consume enough water or calories. I started back running two weeks post partum and between that and the extra fuel needed to produce milk, I had to be mindful of my food a fluid intake. Fenugreek also helps with production.
I hope maybe some of this information helps. Either way, your precious baby will be happy and healthy and very much loved which is all that matters.
Please try not to stress out! You did what you had to do at the time because it’s important to have a sane mommy! If you are feeling very anxious about bf still, maybe enlist some help for the postpartum experience. We had a doula for birth but she also visited our house post partum which was awesome. I also am an RD so I know a lot about the benefits of bf and the Techniques, so I did have that going for me. Then I had my own baby and I do realize it takes a village sometimes! I had a lactation consultant in the room a day after birth and visited one out patient as well to work on latch. The early interventions were key for me. Sounds like you have a very supportive husband too! And that really helps! Even if it’s just bringing you snacks and fluids. I had heard that once you made it to the three month mark it was super easy. And it truly was. Sometimes I took it day by day until then. And honestly it was so convenient being out in public with nursing. And here I am, preggo with #2 on the way and still nursing my one year old a few times a day. It’s been an awesome way to calm her down while we’ve been traveling the last three weeks too. Do what you can to prepare, enlist the right help, be confident in your body, and make the decision when it comes what is right for you and your family!
Hi Janae! Congratulations on your second baby! I currently have a 6 month old and am breastfeeding. My whole pregnancy I too stressed about breastfeeding because I just felt so clueless! But Anytime anyone would ask if I was going to BF my response was that I was going to give it a good try and if it worked out for us then great and if not then I wasn’t going to feel bad about stopping. I think not putting any pressure on myself was the key. BUT it seemed in my birthing classes the instructor did put quite a lot of pressure and emphasis on BF (i dont know if that is good or bad honestly)!
In saying all of that I absolutely LOVE breastfeeding my son. It is such a special thing for a mom and baby and I already get sad thinking about when it will be over. ( will have to have another baby ;)). I am convinced my husband gets jealous of our bonding time when I BF . :))
I am also a marathon runner and although I haven’t gotten back to my longer miles I have not noticed a drop in my supply as I started running again at 6 weeks pp.
Good luck with everything and thanks for letting us follow along!!
You need to get on getting a Snoogle for sure! It is so good for stomach sleepers since when you curl up with it, you almost feel like you’re on your stomach.
I LOVE talking about my breastfeeding experience mostly because I like giving advice :) I didn’t have the easiest time nursing in the beginning, but I felt that it was really so, so worth it in the end(2 kids breastfed). That being said, if it causing you enough angst that it is detrimental to your life, you should absolutely make the right choice for you!
My top advice would be to see a lactation consultant as soon as the baby is born and possibly before. An IBCLC can really help you to troubleshoot any issues that you may have and can provide a lot of reassurance when you’re doubting yourself. I would definitely make sure you get an IBCLC who has experience supporting athletic women.
Happy Mom, Happy Baby!
My first baby wouldn’t latch and I couldn’t breastfeed. It took me a while to be alright with it and see that she was healthy and happy after being on formula. I promised myself that with my Second I would be fine from the start if she couldn’t breastfeed. I didn’t want those months of sadness to color my mothering experience. But when my second wouldn’t latch, it was that same pain and hurt again. I told myself it was fine, that she would be fine, just like my oldest. But there was crying and frustration all the time. So just prepare yourself- you might feel those emotions again, despite what your mind says. But you’ll get through it!
First, I want to start by saying that I’m so proud of you for giving breastfeeding another chance this go around. Having a supportive husband and family around could be enough to have a completely different experience ❤️ Second, a fed baby is a happy and healthy baby and NEVER let anyone make you feel like less of a mother for not having a good breastfeeding journey.
When I was pregnant with Stella and Grayson I read, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and found it very useful! Also, get a good breastfeeding pillow! Those save!
I had a lot of anxiety for a long time with my breastfeeding relationship with my twins because I was told by so many people that I wouldn’t be able to produce enough milk. 19 months later they’re healthy and growing just fine and we exclusively breastfed after about 5 days on! They still are so obsessed with nursing which sometimes is hard, but it is nice to not have to clean bottles!
I hope this time around is different in the sense that whatever happens you will be at peace with the outcome! I’ll be praying for you ?
Tedi at Running with Infertility
I stressed about other issues with breastfeeding before getting pregnant, but those have somewhat vanished now that baby boy is here. Breastfeeding hasn’t lasted long for me. My son has a tilted mandible along with torticolis and getting a good latch has been hard. I have been strictly pumping for now, and am not sure if I’ll go back to breastfeeding. I do think that fed is best.
I had a similar experience with my first, just like you and Brooke and ended up pumping the WHOLE time. Gosh, what a pain in the neck! So with my second, I vowed that I would make it work. It was just as hard the second time around, but I didn’t give up. It took about two weeks of stressful eating sessions and then it was so easy and no bottles or worrying about having everything ready before leaving the house. It was SO worth it! However, I did have a harder time bonding (Just at first) because it was so hard, but that didn’t last long :)
You are absolutely right that it doesn’t make a difference at all in the long run. That baby of yours will be loved beyond measure and that is the ONLY thing that matters. Good luck!!!! We will all be here to support you when the time comes.
I had a similar, very rough experience breastfeeding my first. I wanted to quit and stick with it at the same time so badly. I went through every issue under the sun and tried every remedy, including exclusively pumping for awhile. Eventually we got the hang of it…only to be forced to stop about 6-7 months in for medical reasons (my own, unrelated to the baby or BFibg). With my second baby, 2.5 years later, it couldn’t have gone better. Aside from the initial uncomfortableness, it was a piece of cake and we went for 14 months until the day she decided she was done.
My best advice? Give it a shot. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. At the end of the day happy momma=happy baby :)
Congratulations!!! I seriously trained for 2 full marathons while nursing, and there wasn’t ever a supply issue. I think it had to do with always nursing on demand (if you can), eating a ton of nuts and drinking tons of Powerade. Lol. Everyone’s didferent, but it worked for me.
Best of luck!!!!
Getting pregnant and staying pregnant was not easy for me. It is hard to describe but dealing with infertility and knowing that my first might have been my only and then looking at my 2nd and knowing she genuinely was a miracle made me far more determined with breastfeeding then I should have been. With my first I suffered through pain for the first 3 months and then all of a sudden it was so easy. I had a strong support system though, my birth center had a lactation consultant, plus the midwives which would call you back quickly, and a breast feeding support group that met 2x a month and had an online outreach piece. Without ALL of this, I would have quit and you know what my daughter would have been fine. I breast fed her until 20 months. My 2nd daughter had numerous issues. Her reflux was so severe that she would lose her voice (a hoarse cry) and she only slept in 20 min. increments. She had a swallowing disorder and FPIES. I thought that she did not like bottles however later found out that it was the swallowing disorder but she could nurse like a champ. She was an easy nurser, the only thing easy about this kid!! I stopped nursing her when she was 2. This all said. I wonder if trying formula with my 2nd might have made a difference, likely not, but I always wonder if it would have made a difference.
My philosophy is happy mom, happy baby. Do what works, formula is food and so is breast milk!! If you want to breastfeed, line up your support now. Know that the beginning is not easy, it can suck but it does get easy.
Congratulations momma! I know I can say try NOT to stress but if you’re anything like me, you still will ? All you can do is try your best and if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t work out! A fed baby is best and don’t ever let anyone tell you different! Breastfeeding was hard initially for me, but after about 12 weeks it was all the sudden amazing! And then I went back to work ? And pumping is awful! At 8 months my milk started drying up and THAT is when I was super stressed – am I pumping enough to last him the whole day? Did he eat more today than I could make? Will he be able to nurse enough before bed to sleep well? Oh man, but once I let that go and moved to formula it was all okay again! We put so much pressure on ourselves as mom’s but our babies love us no matter what! So please try not to stress!!
You got this!
Breastfeeding can be so tough you’re right! Mastitis, latch issues, pain. Oh the pain. No one talks of that. Ha. But I will say a lactation specialist helped me with those issues and it was covered by insurance. Nice surprise.
I don’t live in Utah anymore but I do follow Lactation Link and she seems like a wealth of information. Congratulations on your little one!
Janae, THANKYOU for writing this post :) to hear another moms struggles and how similar they were to mine is a comfort. I was a first time mom to twins – they never latched great and despite constantly breast feeding and pumping I wasn’t getting enough to satisfy both of them. On top of that I was figuring out how to be a mom and a mom to two none the less! It was a hard and stressful time.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on breastfeeding. There is a stigma out there on this topic (a certain phrase comes to mind) that sets women up for failure and depression, it’s not right. Mom knows what’s best and that’s all there is to it!
I wasn’t so lucky that all 4 of my kids were instant professional latchers and I ran while breastfeeding, including a PR in the marathon with pumping a bottle right before and feeding her again immediately after (pretty amazing that I could hydrate and fuel well enough to run AND make more milk. As far as babies nursing or not, fed is best! So whatever happens will be best for you guys. That being said, don’t assume you will struggle this time again. Each child is different and a friend of mine struggled to nurse her first 2 and had no problems with her last 2…
Fed is best, girlfriend! My little guy (13 months) stopped nursing 2 weeks ago. I ran the entire time – starting at 4 weeks. I drank lots of water, ate a bunch, pumped almost exclusively and went with the flow. I have a heap of emotional issues, so thankfully, breastfeeding went smoothly for me. I would have buckled if it hadn’t. I trusted my body. As you mentioned, everything is different this go round – YOU, your family, your physical setting and even the baby. A whole new human with different wants, needs, abilities and desires. Trust your growth and enjoy the new little person. I’m team boy, BTW.
Hi sweet lady!
I never comment on blogs anymore, but happen to be finishing up my RD training right now and am currently working to promote breastfeeding and answer all expectant mamas questions! First of all – TOTALLY right, you do your best and thats all you can do! 100%.
Tips to keep your milk supply up is to bring baby to breast as often and for as long as possible….even if baby is not getting much (or anything!). To increase duration, try offering both breasts at each feeding! Baby to breast sends hormonal signals through your body to increase milk production! Last thing – pumping frequently will actually increase milk production! The less you pump, the less your body thinks you need. :)
So excited for you and your growing family, your already such a wonderful mama to your sweet baby!
Have an amazing day!
Go to a lactation consultant after your baby is born!! Seriously, that’s the best advice you can get. I did with both of my kiddos and it was so helpful. They will help you troubleshoot latching and the million other issues you could have. Breastfeeding was tough at the start with my first but with the help of a great lactation consultant I breastfed her for 10 months (stopping when my supply dwindled – probably due to going back to work and pumping). Even though breastfeeding was much easier with my second kid I still went for a consult and it was helpful. I’m still breastfeeding him and he’s 9 months tomorrow.
You can do it!! Just because nursing was a struggle with Brooke does NOT mean that’s how it’s going to with this baby. Nursing Banks and Ella was SO hard and soooo not enjoyable. I never knew if they were full, it took so much time, I had to supplement, etc. BUT!.., for whatever reason (tender mercy from the Lord!?) baby number three has been completely different! For the first time I actually have a supply of extra milk!….I can nurse in a timely fashion… I can feed him and know he’s actually full and satisfied. And really I haven’t done anything different other than I determined to not give up and do my best even though my first 2 kids breastfeeding was bad.
Moral of the story… don’t give up! You can do it!! Positive mantras just like running! Love you!
PS for what it’s worth, I guess boy!! ??
Marissa @ Run Riss Run
I feel like each subsequent child was easier to breastfeed because I was more confident. I love our pediatrician. He’s very pro breastfeeding and super supportive but he also said “a happy mom is a happy babe” and if breastfeeding is too stressful then don’t. Great advice :)
So glad you have such a great attitude towards breastfeeding. There is so much pressure and judgement surrounding this issue. All of your L&D and postpartum nurses should have training on breastfeeding and most hospitals have a lactation consultant – use that resource!! WIC also has breastfeeding classes you can take.
Just give yourself some Grace and remember fed is best, regardless of how that happens.
I was an exclusive pumper for my little guy as well. He just couldn’t get the hang of latching and I was super stressed about him getting enough- so pumping became what was best for the both of us.
However, I did recently find a lactation consultant who is quite popular on Instagram that I think I might try a class from if we have another baby. Take a look at “lactationlink” she is located in Utah (not sure how close to you) and also does online classes. Also Kellymom.com is a great resource for pretty much everything!
Congratulations on baby#2 Janae! So exciting!!
Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner
Love the baby update! I’m hitting 34 weeks on Friday and it seems like it’s going super fast! I’ll be breastfeeding when my baby comes but that is one of my biggest fears, that she won’t latch on. Luckily I have amazing friends that are lactation specialist that are on speed dial. ?
I also had a tough time nursing my first (I’m nursing my 4th right now!) My second, 3rd and 4th have all been awesome experiences. The biggest thing was I sort of knew what I was doing with the 2nd one and had no clue with the first. I also had an amazing lactation consultant on speed dial to answer any questions I had. I am (what seems like) one of the few who’s milk supply is affected by how much weight I lose. I unfortunately need to keep a few extra pounds on my frame to ensure an ample supply. Once I start working out hard again, my supply tanks. So I sort of sacrifice that part of my life for the first year or so before I ramp up my workouts. I would also look into tongue or lip ties. They seem to be really common and really treatable to make the breastfeeding experience a pleasant one (if that ends up being an issue for you). Best of luck to you Janae!
Try not to set any expectations, or think that your last experience will influence this one. With my first baby, I lasted just 3 weeks. He was a big baby (over 9 lbs), always hungry and I didn’t have enough for him. It was a frustrating and painful experience. The second time, though, was textbook. I had a great supply, it flowed great, and it was a wonderful, relaxing experience. Just take it one day, and sometimes one hour, at a time. ?
http://www.kellymom.com <—That website answers every single breastfeeding question you could imagine! I used it so much! I breastfed my daughter until she was 21 months. She latched onto 1 side like a champ from the beginning but had a strong aversion to the other. I ended up using a nipple shield to help with supplementation until my milk came in because she lost 11% of her body weight. Once my milk came in we had both gotten attached to the nipple shield (ummm, no more sore nipples!) so I continued to use it. We used it for 5 months until I finally just decided to go without it one day. I had a love/hate relationship with the nipple shield but I am not sure we would have been successful without it. I say all this to say, give a nipple shield a try if you run into latching problems again.
Such wise words, and the best possible attitude, good for you! I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here (UK) mums are actually pressured quite quickly into using a bottle to ‘top up’ if they’re having difficulties breastfeeding – even while they’re still in the hospital. So then they don’t establish their milk supply properly and stress about their baby getting enough milk. With Andrew and your family on side I’m sure you’ll be able to do everything you can to avoid that. I really recommend a book called ‘baby led breastfeeding’ which talks about spending the first couple of weeks ‘nesting’ with your baby, with lots of skin to skin contact. I think pumping must be the worst as it’s so stressful and takes so much time away from your little one. My sister did it and it nearly broke her! This time around she’s still happily bf after 2 years!!
Love the posts. My partner thankfully had a pretty good time breastfeeding our two kids. She also found our local la leche group super supportive when things were trickier so that might be something to look out for near you. If they’re anything like our group they were really supportive of just finding what works for you,
Regardless if that’s nursing for weeks, months or years http://www.lllusa.org
Even though I’m not pregnant, I find it interesting to read about your journey. I’m glad the kids are also super excited for the baby too. It sounds like you have a great attitude and you look gorgeous too.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on breastfeeding! It is a big topic in my life right now since my baby is 9 months and I’m still breastfeeding and pumping. A lot of people warned me that it would be hard to keep my supply up if I wanted to run and train for races after she was born but I have managed! I’ve also talked to a lot of other mother runners about what helped their supply and the most popular tip was to hydrate and eat plenty! When I had little dips in supply in the beginning, I definitely noticed that it seemed to correlate with how much water I was drinking. I try to make sure to eat quickly as soon as I start to feel a little hungry. I take it as a sign like “warning – low fuel!”. It’s like fueling a machine, kind of! I think it’s very possible you might have a completely different experience this time around so I would remain hopeful!! Good luck in this category!
meredith @ cookie chrunicles
I nursed my son for 16 months but that first month was really hard! i still don’t know how I made it through lol. Once I got passed that 4 week mark though, we fell into a nice rhythm (although he never took a bottle, that would be one thing I would try to change next time if there was a next time lol). they say whatever you can try to do, is still great for the baby – even if it’s only the first few days!
I know exactly how you feel about breastfeeding! My first was so difficult. Apparently I had flat nipples so I had to use the shield which I hated. He had a terrible latch and it was so stressful. I think I lasted three months. My second is just seven weeks old and it has been a totally different experience! He latches so easily and no shield! I have also built up a frozen supply of over 150 ounces to help feed him longer. So be encouraged that every baby is different! I also completely agree that while it is amazing to feed your child with your own body, it does not establish a better bond with your child. I believe bonding goes far beyond that!
I nursed my first two boys for two years each and hope to do the same for baby number 3 due in October. I’m a cyclist and waited a full 8 weeks to get back on the bike after both births, mostly because I was slightly terrified to sit on a bike seat again ?, and I think giving my supply a full two months to establish itself really helped.
I nursed on-demand (probably every 2-3 hours), ate oatmeal and things with oats, drank a TON of water, and also drank mothers milk tea. I swear by the Traditional Medicine brand of that! My hunger was so out of control when I was nursing since I was burning all those extra calories so you just gotta replenish everything when you do start running again.
One other thing I did, I always pumped after one of my morning nursing sessions to start building a freezer stash supply. Thanks for posting on this Janae! I love seeing what other people have done!
Support is huge! I tell all my new mom friends to call me any time day or night and if I’m awake I’ll answer (my kids are terrible sleepers and I can fall back to sleep instantly). It is easy to feel very alone breastfeeding especially in the middle of the night and you really feel like you don’t know what you are doing. Sometimes someone just saying you can do it can make all the difference in the world. I nursed both of my girls until they were 2. I worked out 5-6 days a week and at some points was running 30 miles a week. I drank a ton of water and if my baby was with me I nursed them. They only got a bottle when I wasn’t with them. Mainly because I hated pumping. My first daughter ate every 2 hours for probably the first 6 months and my 2nd nursed every 3-4 hours. Every kid is so different! It sounds like Andrew is on top of things and will help you in any way that he can! Looking forward to following your journey!
Whatever works for you is going to be great. I loved breastfeeding and did it until my daughter was almost 2. We were both ready to be done and it was a super easy transition. I took it easy on the exercise front for the first 3 months or so and gradually got back into it. I took some supplements to help boost my supply. I think Fenugreek worked best for me. I got into racing bikes while she was still nursing and would feed her before and sometimes after workouts for the stimulation. Totally different for everyone!
I can promise that no matter what happens, your bond with your baby will be there. :) My daughter (now 17) was severely lactose intolerant, so I was only able to breastfeed for 3 months (during which time she was in severe pain and threw up everything she ate). As soon as we switched to soy formula (the only option at the time) she was a completely different baby! No more pain and crying (for either of us! Lol!) I felt like a huge failure as a mom! But rest assured, she is a smart, beautiful young woman who is very close to her dad and me. Your baby needs the best nutrition for HIM/HER – and with prayer God will show you the correct food he/she needs. He/she will grow up strong and lovely and close to you no matter what. :)
I stressed over breastfeeding too. I heard so many stories about how easy it was and women having excess milk. It wasn’t that easy for me so I just took it one month at time. I did end up using fenugreek tablets to help with my supply and by the time my daughter was 11 months I had to start supplementing with formula. I just had to keep telling myself the goal was to keep her healthy and not trying to win some breastfeeding contest.
I read this post with tears in my eyes as I bottle fed formula to my two month old daughter.
I so wanted breastfeeding to work out, but after a short stay in the NICU where she had to be bettle fed, and my milk being very slow to come in, I gave up on nursing after 7 weeks. The whole time I had to pump and supplement. It pained me to watch my daughter be hungry and gulp down ounces of formula after a marathon nursing session, but clearly my body wasn’t making enough for her. I’m happy to spend more time enjoying her smiles and less time stressing about how to increase my supply, but I do miss nursing her.
I guess my advice is to be prepared for any outcome, and that no matter what happens your child will be fed and loved. Also, it is SO much easier for me to tell someone else it is okay to stop than it was to tell myself- be kind to yourself! :)
Congrats on your pregnancy! This is very exciting. It seems as though you have a wealth of knowledge and advice from your readers and I can only second their thoughts on engaging with a lactation counselor. I am a nurse and a CLC (there are two types – a Certified Lactation Counselor and an IBCLC which is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and can’t recommend the assistance of one of these professionals enough. La Leche League is AWESOME and free and holds meetings and support groups all over the country – GO! They will help with any problem you feel you are having. And remember that although breastfeeding is wonderful and special, FED is best regardless of if it is formula or breastmilk – a full baby is a happy, growing baby, and your family will do what works best for you. If I can offer a bit of advice, however – know that if you are exclusively pumping, a supply decline is expected. Pumps only offer approximately 20% of the suction power your baby can. Breastfeeding is simply an equation of supply and demand – if you demand it from your body, your body will supply it. Putting baby to breast is the most effective way to get a great supply, as well as staying away from the pump for at least 6 weeks after baby is born. And just because you had issues with Brooke does not mean that you will have the same problems or any with this babe. Often times, when a baby won’t latch or there are supply issues, there are only small things that need to be fixed with the latch attempt, hold, etc – it’s rarely ever a “this will never work” situation.
Anyway, congratulations. I’m sure you will do just fine.
I had such a terrible time with breastfeeding. Lots of bleeding, my daughter spitting up blood, mastitis, it was always super painful and it just made me so stressed and depressed. At my daughters 8 week pediatrician appointment the pediatrician told me to think of all the great people I knew in my life and then she asked me out of those people who had been breastfed? I obviously didn’t know for most of them and that’s the point – our babies are going to be amazing awesome little people regardless of how they are fed! I chose to stop not long after that and my daughter drank formula. You do you, Janae! I will still think you’re amazing no matter what :-)
You just hit on my biggest fear about being a new mom…..what if I can’t breastfeed?! it’s good to know that it didn’t impact Brooke’s health or your bond with her. We have a great support group for breastfeeding and pumping mom’s at my local birthing center. Hoping that helps keep the stress down!
Did you ever try a nipple shield or nipple guard? I swear by them. I could NOT get my first to latch and was struggling and we went to a lactation clinic every day for a week. And then my best friend recommended a nipple shield and it changed my life! I nursed my baby for a year using that! The goal with the shield/guard is to help the baby get the latch and then eventually you won’t need the shield but I have large nipple (tmi?) and he just couldn’t handle it without the shield so I used it the whole year. I also ended up using it for my second and third baby! I would totally recommend trying it at least. But seriously, fed is best, and a healthy happy mom is best so do what you need to in order to be happy. Breastfeeding is so hard and there’s still such a stigma attached to it, I love any dialogue that can help break that barrier down and we can be supportive and helpful!
This is about milk supply and running.
I’ve been fortunate in the breastfeeding department, nursing three kids to 13-14 months. For my first I pumped bottles for day because I worked, but by my second and third I stayed home and didn’t need to rely on bottles so much. In fact, my third refused bottles and only accepted some for a weekend when I was gone when she was 11 months old lol.
That said, I pumped a TON and donated hundreds and hundreds of ounces of milk to a bank for #2 and #3. I ran and lifted both those times. A few things: 1) I trained for a half marathon with both kids, but never regularly reached the mileage you do. My max is 4-6 miles 3-4 times a week usually. 2) I didn’t start working out until about 10 and 6 weeks post partum, so my supply was established and my body had plenty of time to heal. 3) I ate and ate and ate. It takes me a solid year and then weaning to return to normal weight. No matter what I would try to lose weight faster, my body just wouldn’t let it go. During that time, however, I was faster and stronger than I ever had been! I think my ample diet help fuel my strength AND milk.
Good luck! I agree, a less-stressed momma makes for a happier baby and home. :)
First off, congratulations on your pregnancy! You and your family deserve it! This baby will be very lucky…
Second, you absolutely have the perfect attitude about breastfeeding. Happy mom, happy baby. If breastfeeding is a tremendous struggle and causing stress, there is no reason to keep going if it isn’t working. Everyone’s situation is unique, ever pregnancy unique and every baby unique! I know many women for whom breastfeeding did not work out, and they have wonderful, healthy children!
As for me, I struggled a lot with our first. She didn’t latch, so I used nipple shields for a while, which were awful. The experience was challenging, especially with a lot of doubting of myself as a new mom. But we got through it and she became a nursing champ.
With our second, I had an extremely challenging birth/delivery because of pre-eclampsia. I felt awful and extremely tired/worn out after he was born. The nurse asked if I wanted to nurse and I almost said no, I was so spent. But she propped him up on my arm while i was laying down and he latched immediately. I don’t know if it was prior experience or just karma that after a rough birth, breastfeeding was a breeze. So you just never know. This baby could have an easy time!
And our last baby took to it immediately and pretty much hasn’t wanted to let go since…even at 2 years old! Lol…
As for running, with all my babies, I took it extremely slow after each one. I didn’t run until 6 weeks, and I had no goals at all as far as time or distance after that. Just to get out was my goal. Totally for stress relief. So my supply never really dropped with running.
I wish you so much luck with everything!
I don’t have kiddos (yet) so I’m completely useless with all this stuff. All I know is that in my world, there have been friends/family/coworkers on all ends of the spectrum. Some only breastfed — some are still breastfeeding their 4 yr olds! (yikes, teeth!) — some didn’t ever have any milk come in. From an outsider’s perspective, all I can see is happy, healthy kids! All around! Even the 4 yr old (thank goodness he doesn’t know any better and that he’s surrounded by loving and understanding folks!).
I exclusively pump for my twin boys. Pumping is HARD. I don’t produce enough for both to eat exclusively breastmilk so one twin gets half breast milk and half formula in each bottle. Fun fact: it only takes 4oz of breast milk per day for our babies to get the full benefits. Fed is best so I wouldn’t stress. I wanted to nurse but that’s not how the cards played out and that’s okay! I would prefer pumping Any day now so my husband can help feed the twins, I can go out without having to worry because I can leave a bottle for them. Also, All I ate during pregnancy with my twin boys were subs and hot dogs, just saying ;)
I made it almost 8 months nursing my daughter, and I still feel guilty that I didn’t make it a whole year. I’m glad I made the effort and I’m glad I could nurse exclusively for as long as I did (which included 3 pumping sessions at work every day and 1 first thing in the morning), but it stressed me out terribly the entire time. I can’t help but think that some things would have been easier in the earlier months if I had given myself a break on the breastfeeding. But I’m stubborn and refuse to let myself be a “quitter” (helloooo, marathon runner amirite?! Haha) so I kept on until it wasn’t “easy” anymore. (That’s a joke because nothing is easy with a newborn!)
Good luck, give it your best effort, and if it doesn’t work out don’t let it get you down too much! Easier said than done, i know! :)
You are right that it will be totally fine, whatever happens. I recommend finding out if your OB office and the hospital you’ll deliver at have lactation consultants you’ll be able to access. Here in Eugene, most of the OB offices have free times where you can pop in, get your baby weighed and talk to the lactation consultant about any issues you’re having. My experience is they have been totally amazing and helpful. There are also free local groups of Le leche league around the country and other mom support groups that have tons of information and often bring in specialists. All this to say, there are resources out there, but I know some people have a lot harder time than others.
Try papaya enzyme capsules work like a charm for heartburn ❤️ I had horrible heartburn and recommended to take after eating or before bed and had zero heart burn. You can find them at sprouts or Whole Foods – inexpensive. I wish I would have known about them sooner
I just wanted to say that your point about a happy, healthy, non(lower)-stressed mom is ultimately what is best for baby. I wish I could put that statement in bolded letters for the world of young moms to see. It took me a long time to learn that with my parenting (way past the breastfeeding stage), but my children do so much better when I’m not beating myself up for my self-perceived shortcomings. It sounds like you and Andrew are both going to do so well with your newest addition. Way to go on being a positive light for other young mamas out there!
So excited for you Janae!
My little girl is 4.5 months old now (where does the time go?!) and one of the best things we did for us in terms of learning to breastfeed was schedule a consultation with a lactation consultant who came to visit us AT OUR HOME. She came after we’d been home for a couple of days, and it was SO MUCH more useful to me than the guidance we got at the hospital. Being able to work with her on our furniture, in our rooms, with our boppy, etc…were key!
I was lucky enough that Clara took to eating like a champ and my milk supply is (too) good and we’ve actually been able to make pretty significant donations to a milk bank that pasteurizes milk and provides it to hospitals for NICU babies.
That being said, remember that every body is different and fed is always best. Love to you and your growing family! <3
Breastfeeding with my first was a fail – I delivered an 8lb 14 ounce baby boy that wanted to eat a cheeseburger and all I could offer him was a broken french fry! We tried everything – even met with my midwife, but he just never wanted to latch. I pumped my heart out too but never produced enough (maybe I was using the machine wrong!?). We eventually when to all formula and it was amazing how much happier I became, as well as my son.
I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant with my second and I have the same mindset as you. I’m going to try my hardest (and truly hope) to nurse (I think I will look into a lactation consultant). But I’m not going to put myself through the stress I previously did. Fed is Best, right? ;-)
I love the books Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter and Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy by Laura Keegan.
My best advice….seek help early and often. Use the breastfeeding consultants at the hospital assuming they have them. And if your having latch trouble have a professional check to see if the baby is tongue tied. We had terrible trouble with my one and only son the first couple weeks feeding. Finally the breastfeeding consultant checked and told me he was tongue tied. After it was clipped it was like night and day. He literally latched fine from the moment afterwards! Good luck! So excited for your family!
OH the joys of breastfeeding. I was able to breastfeed both of my children until they were two. They were different breast feeders. The first kid was a champ, it took more adjustment on my part than on his. Second child was not as good. It took two weeks of work on my part to get her to properly latch on. I don’t know how much help you had the first time around but lactation consultants are great. I had one with my first and she taught me a few things to look for to ensure proper latching. You do your best and everything will be fine. You did not do Brooke any harm by using formula. If babies don’t eat they don’t survive. You did whatever you had to do to take care of your baby. That makes you a good Mom.
I breastfed both of my children for the first 9 months. It was very challenging especially since I went back to work after 3 months with both of them so I pumped and froze milk like crazy! I will always say that my best advice is to relax and eat a ton of food! Sounds pretty good. I was always starving while i breastfed and I ate all the time. Drink tons of water and like you mentioned – if it doesn’t work you just simply buy formula and snuggle on your baby while you feed them from a bottle. I am thrilled to see pictures of your sweet baby, such a fun time. My youngest is 17 months and I am so sad to no longer have a true baby. Congrats!
Breastfeeding was very hard for me with my first (super stressed first time mom, freaked out when my milk didn’t come in immediately). I struggled for almost a year and supplemented with formula. I was much more relaxed with my second. When he was born, there were a lot more resources for me to me read, I spoke with a lactation consultant in the hospital and I was just more relaxed the first week when the baby came home. I think with my first I wanted to be super mom-take care of the baby, my house, my husband and all the visiting relatives when all I should have been doing is sitting down relaxing with the baby. That’s what I did with the second (I let family members take care of my toddler and house) and I focused on me and the baby. Was much more enjoyable and successful experience-ended up BF for a year. I hope you are able to do the same. Give yourself the space to focus on the baby and let yourself rest and relax. Your body just did an amazing thing (give birth) and will do an amazing thing (produce food for your baby) so let it rest to have energy. And, drink tons of water and eat enough! And, if it doesn’t work out, know your baby will be fine.
I completely understand your struggles with breastfeeding. My third baby was born at 29 1/2 weeks and I was not able to breastfeed her. The NICU closely monitors how much babies eat (by bottle) and added formula to my breastmilk for extra calories. I continued to pump after she was well enough to breastfeed. My supply dried up around the six week mark. I had no hesitation switching her to formula since the NICU had been adding it to my breastmilk from day one. I hope you dont stress about it this time around. Do what works best for you and your baby!
Oh my goodness, do not feel bad. Every baby is different. My first was ok.. I nursed her for 10 months and then I was ready to have “me” back. Then my second was SO HARD. I struggled for 6 weeks before switching to formula and I felt horribly guilty for forever, even now (and he’s 10!) so I totally get it. Plus, I had a “sort-of-friend” tell me that the reason he got so many ear infections was because I didn’t nurse him, which didn’t help at all. I decided when I got pregnant with my third that I WAS going to nurse and be good at it. And I just had my 5th and it’s going great so far. Looking back, i think my son couldn’t latch because of the size of his mouth. It’s really small and we just struggled. But he’s great now and isn’t suffering because of being formula fed. I think being relaxed and not trying too hard to be perfect at breastfeeding helps a ton. I’m sure you’ll do great whatever ends up happening! Brooke is obviously a sweet and bright little girl so no stress momma! ;)
This is longer (sorry) but I hope it helps ease your mind…
Kid 1: nursed exclusively for 8 weeks, then a mixture of nursing and pumped milk/bottle until 4 months (I went back to work), then a mix of nursing, pumping/bottle, and formula supplementation until 6 months (I could not keep enough milk supply while pumping 12 hours a day and no night feedings – he slept through the night from 7 weeks on). He preferred the bottle and quit nursing on his own, cold turkey, at 6 months. I did not not run through this pregnancy or nursing time.
Kid 2: loved nursing and hated the bottle and probably would have nursed for 3 years but his metabolism was SO high and he digested SO fast that I couldn’t keep up with milk alone after 4 months (at 3-1/2 months he would go through 62 ounces between 8am-9pm and still nurse 4 more times during the night). He was always hungry –> always crying –> never sleeping. He was allergic to the first formula we tried for supplementation but the second one worked and the difference was amazing – at 5 months he finally went more than 80 minutes between feedings, started napping, and decreased night time feedings. It was really hard to justify keeping him hungry so I started weaning him to formula-only at 6 months and by 7 months he was done nursing. I did not run through this pregnancy or nursing time either – I can’t imagine trying to fit that in with a toddler and nursing the Bottomless Pit every 80 minutes and no sleep ever. I was more than a little bit crazy with this baby.
Kid 3 (12 years later!): He nursed exclusively for 6 months (although we did struggle through over-supply issues at first), then nursed with supplementation through 10 months. I visited the lactation nurses A LOT the first two months of his life because he struggled to keep his weight up despite the large supply and good nursing. We finally figured out that he needed to eat every two hours through 5 months or so (3-4 times a night, too), then I extended the time between feedings but had to supplement at the end of each nursing session from 6-10 months. He decided he was done at 10 months (actually, probably more like 9 months but I forced the issue for another month or so before giving in). I did run through 28 weeks of this pregnancy and started again at 6 weeks post-partum (lots of mid-run nursing on benches along the creek trail).
Advanced age (almost 40) and running might have contributed to the better nursing success with Kid 3 but I strongly suspect that it is simply that each kid is different and a fed, happy kid is the best kid, however that feeding is done. And since I hate pumping with the passion of a million burning suns (for several reasons), we went with what was ‘natural’ for us with each kid.
(Also – oats, gallons of water, nursing teas, flax, etc…none of those ever helped my milk supply. Weight wasn’t an issue either – I never lost all my baby weight until at least 3 months after weaning.)
First off — congratulations on your pregnancy! I’m happy for you!
A couple of thoughts to keep in mind re breastfeeding — you’re in a very different emotional place this time around and your body/mind will be under less stress, which will likely make things easier. And each baby is different — latch issues that happen with one child may very well not happen with another.
I like to think of those early weeks of breastfeeding like the early weeks of running — it can be just plain hard and even painful at first, but after you get through the first, say, 6 weeks, you can get over the hump and it goes a lot more smoothly. So hang in there and don’t beat yourself up over any difficulties. Do your best to work through them, with help from Andrew (LOVE that he took a class in breastfeeding) and a La Leche League leader/group near you. http://www.llli.org/webindex.html La Leche League is super helpful and nonjudgmental — you take what works for you and leave the rest, and you can call a leader for free or attend weekly meetings as your ability allows. You might even go to a meeting or two before you deliver, just to talk over your worries.
I like The Breastfeeding Book by Dr. Sears, and the Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk by Diana West. Best wishes to you!
I had a really hard time getting going with breastfeeding with my first too. After a lot of stubbornness we were able to make it work and I never noticed running impacting my supply. Just have to keep up with the water intake. I am very happy to say the second time around breastfeeding was so much easier. I am only 3 weeks in but in a way better place this time. Is it me, is it the baby? Not sure but I think knowing it was ok either way and taking the pressure off made a huge difference. Good luck!
Hi Janae – I’m not a mom so I don’t have any experience to share but I did recently read this article you might find helpful: http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/06/26/534021439/secrets-of-breast-feeding-from-global-moms-in-the-know
Turns out the secret to breast feeding is having help from all the experienced women in your life. Now that you’re in the same city as your mom and sister, you should be good. And if you still lose your supply, as long as your baby is safe and fed and loved, you’re doing perfect :)
And make yourself some lactation cookies, I make them for all my friends who have babies. Plus it’s an excellent excuse to eat some cookies. There’s tons of recipes online. Choose one that looks good to you.
It is so great to hear your thoughts on breastfeeding, and thank you for being so honest. I’ve heard that breastfeeding can come with all sorts of challenges, and sometimes you can’t control everything about it! Obviously, Brooke has grown up to be healthy and strong, so I am sure no matter the outcome of breastfeeding this time around, your little one will turn out healthy and strong as well. :)
I had a rough time with breastfeeding, too (I have a 5 month old). The baby latched great and would nurse for almost an hour each time, so I thought he was doing great as he rarely cried. At his one-week weight check, he’d lost almost a full pound. It turns out I didn’t have enough milk.
I went to lactation twice and the most he ever got was 10 mL. Our pediatrician and lactation consultant both suggested I pump solely to give him all I could and then supplement. I went from nursing him to pumping while my husband gave him a bottle. I tried Fenugreek and pumping more and more each day, but at the end of the day, I just didn’t have enough milk. By 5 weeks, I was only pumping about 1/3 of an ounce/day, so I decided to stop.
While it’s definitely not the way I pictured it, my body just didn’t produce enough milk. The most important thing is a healthy baby, so for me, that meant formula. He’s a healthy almost 19 pound 5 month old now. :) Don’t let your own expectations and the expectations of others for you get you down and stressed. You’re already a great mom to your sweet kiddos and will be the same for the baby on the way!
My favorite part of this post: “I’m sure I’ve got some mama strengths that I could focus on…” Hah, understatement, Janae!! You are an AMAZING mom and Andrew is an amazing dad and not to even mention the attention and love this little one is going to get from 2 big siblings and both your extended families. Be gentle with yourself and count those mama strengths!
Breastfeeding is so dang hard! Kennedy had a great latch right away so in my mind everything was going great, at two weeks so had only gained an ounce since we left the hospital and the dr was concerned. She would nurse for an hour and a half each feed and then I would pump to hopefully get a stock in the freezer when I went back to work and then I would have to feed her a bottle because she was still hungry. She slept about 23 hours of the day and I just thought she was a good baby. The dr said she is sleeping so much because she is starving and not eating near enough to gain weight. I of course cried and felt awful that I was failing as a mom… why would something so natural be so hard. Feeding our babies shouldn’t be a trial for us right?! I was so determined to keep nursing her so I would nurse then pump then give her a bottle and I was a freaking mess! I would sit on the couch topless in this never ending cycle of feeding and just cry at the thought of giving up nursing because the world tells you breast is best. Well after one week of giving her bottles after nursing she gained an entire pound. I drank all the water, took all the supplements and did every single thing I could but I just never had any milk. even after pumping for an hour I would get MAYBE an ounce. I was worried about not bonding with her but I am here to tell you there are so many other ways to bond with your baby! I quit nursing at 6 weeks even though I was only doing it at night at that point and my baby is so healthy and happy!! She loves her babba and I am so much happier now and not stressed all the time. It’s better for the baby for you to not be stressed all the time I say. I say FED is best, however you choose and whatever works for you with that baby… I hear it differs with each baby. I am able to look at her cute face and talk to her as I give her the bottle instead of looking down at my giant boob that is suffocating her, hah! I try to be the one to feed her as often as possible to get that bonding time in but I am so happy formula has come so far because she probably wouldn’t be alive if I were a pioneer! I say you do what works for you and don’t think twice about what anyone thinks or says… kids need food and love and however you give that is PERFECT!!!!
Breastfeeding is so hard!!! I felt so isolated and alone right after having my baby, because no one talks about how hard it can be. I thougth I was a failure because everything was so hard and did NOT come NATURAL at all. I actually hysterically cried when I found out thay there was a free lactation support group in my area that my lactation consultant suggested I go to for community and support. It got way better but I totally identified when you talked about how hard it was for you.
I breastfed all three of my girls for at least a year. The thing that gave me the knowledge and feeling of competency about it was reading the book published by La Leche League called “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding”. I followed pretty much all of their advice and never had supply problem, even as a runner.
No matter what you decide or what happens, your baby has your love. Breastfeeding is not the only path. You’ll find your way!
Megan @ Lazy Runner Girl
My little on is just over a year now. He had severe jaundice and we had to bring him back to the hospital to have him fed via a tube down his throat until he would wake up enough to eat. He never latched properly and the lactation consultant was really aggressive in trying to get him to latch and I decided that it wasn’t worth him getting that upset. I pumped and supplemented with formula, but by four months my supply dried up completely. I was so disappointed. I also had not factored formula into our VERY tight weekly budget so it was also very stressful financially.
I was amazed at how many people would just come right out and ask if you were breastfeeding. I actually had a guy I barely knew at work ask and then told me he couldn’t understand why anyone would use formula because it was so expensive. I was torn between wanting to cry and wanting to smack him.
Best of luck to you. I hope all goes well.
So many good tips! I did not read them all but just wanted to share that I had low supply with my first two babies and we ended up supplementing and eventually completely feeding with formula after I dried up around 3-4 months for both of them. A friend of mine gave me lactation plus vitamins from the honest company and taking those has made a huge difference for me! I forgot to take them one day and I could tell the difference. No matter how you feed your baby you are a wonderful mom :)
We are (almost) due date twins! I’m 17 weeks today (thursday), having a second boy. Very excited, but my breastfeeding plans are to take it as it comes – I had no problems with my first, but fed on-demand for 16 months, which I was lucky to do as a SAHM. I’m working again and want to continue, and if pumping becomes too much, either physically or mentally (the stress! I’m so amazed by the moms who pump for a year), we won’t do it. I was formula-fed and love my mom more than just about anything so although I will definitely do it on maternity leave (knock on wood) we will see after that.
Hey Janae! Have been reading your blog (and loving it!) since maybe… 2012-13? Congrats on your pregnancy! I just had my 2nd on February 28th. Our first daughter is 9 now and she was premature when she was born so I didn’t get to have her on my chest or try to breastfeed her right away. She was so sleepy and tiny that breastfeeding wasn’t happening so I HAND pumped for 6 months with her. We couldn’t afford an electric one and didn’t get one with insurance sooo I did what I had to do! This time my boy was 1 day late, had him on my chest after birth, and let him latch as soon as I could. He spent a little time in the NICU (nothing serious thank goodness) but I would go downstairs and put him on my breast when I could but when we came home I felt comfortable pumping and bottle feeding him so that’s what I’ve done. You are so right when you say whatever works for each mom is OK!!! Wishing you the best pregnancy ever! =)
It is NOT silly to feel this way about breastfeeding. I felt so pressured and bullied and harassed about it, even though it went well for me. We switched to formula at 5 months because I was sick of pumping at work, and my life is so much better now. Obviously this isn’t true for everyone, but formula was the best choice for us at that time. My baby is healthy and happy and I have 75834625794 times more energy now!
Dear Janae, I learned a lot about the difficoulties of breastfeeding after my little girl was born. In Germany we have midwives who just care about this topic (do you have them, too?)and in hospital one of them did something so easy but it worked: she put my doughter naked on my skin for hours. The bonding made her wanting my milk – before she could just handle the bottle.
Ask for help (midwives see immediately if and what goes wrong) and I would reccomend reading about bonding methodes for breastfeeding.
Be positive! You’re smarter this time (listen to your Body, EAT and Drink) and it’ll work!!!
Breastfeeding has its positives and negatives. After having my 2nd, I was training for my marathon and I had problems with my supply. LACTATION COOKIES were the answer! Howsweeteats.com had a recipe and it helped me a lot with my supply. May not work for you but it was an answer for me. You will do great! Being a mom has so many situations that jus tmake it down right stressful sometimes. Just listen to your gut and DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO! Can’t wait to find out what Baby Baron’s sex is!
I formula fed from day 1 with full support from our pediatrician and it turned out to be a wonderful decision for all of us. There are so many other things to worry about – stressing out about whether you will be able to nurse shouldn’t be one of them! We really should go easier on ourselves as mothers, especially as sleep deprived mothers :) If you have the same issues this time around, we fell in love with the Kirklands formula – it is very cost effective and non-GMO.
I just had my 3rd last week and breastfeeding has gone so much better than it did in the beginning with my other two! I’m thinking it just gets easier with time and more kids?? This time I started putting lanolin on a couple weeks before delivery and I use it like crazy after every time I nurse and gel pads are your best friend!! My problem was getting sore and cracked and it helped so much this time taking preventive measures!!?
I’m a year ahead of you in the “second biological kid” department and the only thing I have to say is that you will give yourself so much grace this time around. You’ll realize what’s important (feeding your child) and what’s not (the type of milk – breast or formula). I feel guilty even typing this but I’ve enjoyed my second child so much more because I focused on the actual important things…instead of stressing out and crying about everything (nap schedules, breast feeding, etc). I made it 11 months with my first and while it was a beautiful experience, it was also miserable at the same time (if that makes sense). The lactation tea, cookies, pumping every five minutes, etc. All that crap is for the birds! ? I think too with my second I just didn’t have time to make a mountain out of every mole hill…I had to get my first to preschool or what not so I just had to roll with the punches. We joke that my first had “too much” mom and my second has “where is my mom?” ? ? And, btw, my baby fever is really kicking into high gear now!!!! I need a third ?
Warning! Novel length comment, incoming!
Before I even cared about kids or breastfeeding or any of that excitement, I was visiting a friend who’d had her first daughter and is an AMAZING mom. She’d just changed pediatricians because her former pediatrician made her feel like a jerk about her decision not to breastfeed. There were no medical reasons not to, she just didn’t like it and didn’t want to. The new pediatrician asked out of curiosity why she’d switched doctors and my friend told her (a bit defensively) that she didn’t want to breastfeed, wasn’t going to breastfeed, and that her former doctor did not respect her decision. Her new pediatrician said, “You know, bottle fed babies go to Harvard all the time.” That has actually been what I tell any of my friends when they are struggling with the idea of letting go of breastfeeding.
Now, all the books you read and websites will tell you how natural and wonderful breastfeeding is, and it can be, but that REALLY isn’t the case for most women. When I was in the hospital with my first kiddo I was determined to breastfeed and only breastfeed (as I was determined he’d have zero screen time and only eat organic home made baby food when the time was right and a bunch of other nonsense that makes me laugh when I think about it now). He lost so much weight because my milk is (was) weak sauce. Seriously. To this day I can not pump. I’ve tried with every kid and my body refuses to give milk to a machine. I had to supplement with formula from the time he was two weeks old onward. He breastfed (along with the bottles) until he was 14 months old. I tried to stop at 10 months, but it was a no go. My second child, I planned to breastfeed and hoped to pump as well since the bottle thing is GREAT and very liberating, but #2 just didn’t like to be held close during breastfeeding. She HATED it, in fact. We also had to use formula because she lost so much birth weight on just breastmilk. She REFUSED to breastfeed the day she turned 5 months old and never looked back. By the time #3 came along, I’d pretty much figured we’d do the breastfeeding/formula in a bottle combination… and that is what we started doing. She lost so much birthweight that we were bottle feeding in the hospital. But, an interesting thing happened about 2 weeks in, she would no longer take a bottle. She ONLY wanted to be on the breast. All day. Every day. And I tried to wean her SOOOOO many times. I eventually weaned her at 2 and a half!!! I never planned on breastfeeding another human that long, nor solely breastfeeding. I guess by #3 my body had started to understand this breastfeeding thing. But I do want to re-iterate what none of the books seem to mention. Children have their own personalities and ideas about breastfeeding. It isn’t just getting them to latch and getting them to be hungry. #2 knew how to breastfeed. She knew how to latch. She just didn’t like it. If you and baby are having a hard time, bottle fed babies go to Harvard, too!
A resource I read (and re-read during each pregnancy) that has helped a lot is The Nursing Mother’s Companion By Kathleen Huggins but beware, she is 100% absolutely a pro-breastfeeder. So that is what her point of view is as she is writing.
Best of luck on the breastfeeding thing!
One thing I’m going to change this time around (I’m 35 weeks preggo) is to get a better pump. Money was really right with my first too, but now you’re entitled to a pump (or maybe 2?) through insurance. I need to get going on that and I’m going to get the best one that insurance will pay for. My understanding is If your breast is getting completely emptied each time it will fill up more, but it’s hard to do that with a pump. But I love the “try the best
You can and let it go” attitude. I’m going to be working and putting this baby in daycare (something I didn’t do last time either), so I’m trying to have that attitude too!
Definitely see if there is a local chapter of the La Leche League in your area. You could start going to meetings now even! I found them to be a great resource for me. I was able to breastfeed my firstborn exclusively for about 3 months, then another 3 months with formula supplementation. Going back to work is what ruined it for me. I just couldn’t pump enough to keep him happy while we were apart. When I had my second son, he breastfed exclusively until he was one and then for the next year just morning, afternoon, and bedtime. Then weaned naturally right before he was two. It was everything I had hoped it would be! I really hope it works out for you. The LLL helped me a lot. I only went to a few meetings, but it was a great support system for me since none of my friends or family breastfed that long!
Hi Janae – I had exactly the same breastfeeding experience with my first baby, ended up exclusively pumping but had to supplement with formula in increasing amounts from three months until I had no more milk at six months. My second baby is now nearly ten months and I’m still breastfeeding her, no pumping, no formula (and have been running plenty, now training for a marathon). I had the same mindset as you the second time around of trying hard with breastfeeding but being ok with whatever happens – and we’ve had absolutely no issues at all. Who knows, butI think being more relaxed about it all makes a difference. In the end though, whatever works for you and the baby is the best, no matter if it’s breastfeeding, formula or a combination. Good luck!
I really hope breastfeeding goes well for you this time around. I have two children and both of them were born early and had to be in the NICU. I started pumping immediately, but wasn’t able to breastfeed until a few days after each of their births. I never produced enough milk and eventually switched to formula with both kids. (My son lost so much weight when I was trying to breastfeed him that the hospital wouldn’t let us leave until I agreed to give him formula). I am a huge overachiever and was crushed that I failed at breastfeeding. My breast friend finally gave me some amazing advice. She said ‘Nursing is a nutritional issue, not a moral issue’. I wish you all the luck but if it doesn’t happen, the baby will be fine. You and Andrew are going to do a fantastic job with him or her.
Oh my goodness, don’t stress over this. I tried breastfeeding and it didn’t work out for me or my kids. I hope it works for you this time but if not, don’t worry and don’t be pressured by formula-haters. Both my kids thrived on formula and I have always had an awesome relationship with both of them. Bonding happens because of the love, not the food. Unless there’s chocolate involved. .. :)
I actually thank my success to the most amazing breast feeding class that I took while living in Salt Lake City. I went to a breast feeding class while I was pregnant I took a class at the University of Utah health center and the teacher was so informative and also she was very up front on the fact that breastfeeding is hard and that everyone struggles at first. She told us about all of the places to get help around the Salt lake valley, I was able to know that asking for help from nurses, doctors and lactation consultants . I’m a beyond a perfectionist but taking the class let me ask for the help I needed to have a successful breastfeeding journey with my son and I will tell you it was not easy my milk didn’t come in for about a week ( I had an emergency c-section) and had to supplement. You have a great community there in Salt Lake that is more then willing to help you and support you use it!!!
Hi there! I love your blog and have followed you for many years. Just wanted to say that I gave birth to twins 4 months ago. I thought I would be exclusively breast-feeding them but it didn’t quite work out that way. They were born a little early and needed to supplement with formula. In the beginning I was so stressed out and frustrated about my low milk supply but I just said to myself, I will breastfeed them for 5 minutes each feeding and bottle feed them with formula to supplement. Still doing it today and it’s working out great! They get the antibodies they need, their tummies are full and most importantly, I enjoy it and it doesn’t cause me stress. Hope this helps! Congrats and can’t wait to hear all about the new member of your family. :)
Oh my gosh, Janae, you are amazing!! You did a GREAT job exclusively pumping and 4.5 months is a long time! My daughter is 14 months now, and I exclusively pumped as well. Breastfeeding was so incredibly stressful and painful for me, and I felt exactly as you did-that it was so nice to know how much my daughter was getting by being able to see it in a bottle and to know exactly how much I was producing. There’s a huge network of women doing the same. I found a website called exclusively pumping and a big Facebook group. The support helped! I was able to EP for 13 months without losing milk and with running and losing pregnancy weight quickly. That’s a long time and not at all necessary, I just wanted you to know it can be done and not to feel anxious about losing your milk if you do EP again.
You are not alone, and I love that you are going with the flow and allowing whatever happens to happen with your baby. Thank you for being so honest. You are so wonderful!
My kids all had a hard time starting nursing in the hospital. Using a supplemental feeding system (SNS feeder) really helped. The nurses in the hospital can give you one if you ask! My problem was my milk took long to come in and so the baby wouldn’t latch because she was frustrated w/ just colostrum, but they need to nurse or you need to pump to help the milk to come in – kind of a catch 22. So I used formula w/ the feeder for a day or two (but you could use milk if you’ve pumped). Anyway you hook the cap of the “feeder” up to a medela bottle and it has a little (very thin) tube that you tape up to your breast. So then it just encourages the baby to latch because there’s more milk/formula.
Other than that, a lot of hospitals now have nurses on staff who are lactation consultants to patiently help you through.
My first baby didn’t latch on properly and I had a terrible time with breastfeeding with him. My second one was great, no problems other than being sore. Each baby is so different!
Thank you for sharing your breastfeeding story!! I wanted to breastfeed my daughter so bad but it just didn’t work for us. It was heartbreaking and I still struggle when I hear people get judgemental about it. (11 years later)
Hi, Janae! I am a long time reader, but have never commented before! Congratulations on your latest news. I know that she will be just as wonderful as Brooke and Knox! I wanted to give some input on this topic. I am a runner (I ran cross-country and track-and-field at Drake University); I’m also currently a teacher and cross-country coach. I currently also have a 1 year old son (he just turned 1 on July 1st!). I’ve breastfed him the whole time, and am still doing so. I haven’t had to supplement with formula, and, like you, had planned on simply seeing how things went. Being a teacher, I’ve also spent (a lot) of time pumping during this past year. I’ve also run a few half marathons and am currently training for the Chicago Marathon (I’m hoping to qualify for Boston). You and I actually run at a very similar pace, which is neat for me to read about!
Some things that really helped me maintain my supply were pumping (or feeding) before runs, and then doing so shortly after, within his first few months in particular. For example, I would wake up at 5:30am before cross-country practice on a Saturday morning, pump, then run with the girls at practice, and eventually feed him again at around 8:30-9am. I think that adding the “extra” pumping sessions really helped boost my supply. I have a big freezer stash right now. I can talk alot about this topic, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to e-mail me! I’m still breastfeeding now, and plan to do so for the next few months (and then switch to my freezer supply once school starts again). Congratulations again!!
Our breastfeeding stories are almost identical. I struggled with my first, used a shield, and went to pumping exclusively and then to formula around the time my oldest hit 4 months. It was so hard emotionally to quit. My last three babies I skipped the shield and it just came easier bc I wasn’t so stressed about the first time mom stuff the second time around. They all nursed exclusively (I had a hard time getting them to take a bottle, Ha!) for the first 12-15 months. You’ve got this. And if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay too-my kid who took formula is actually my smartest kid BY FAR whereas my other kids are just as normal as can be, lol. Whatever about breastmilk making them superbabies… ;)
I had only a few hiccups breastfeeding either kid, but I still had tons of questions and loved reading up on the subject. If you want to do some research, one of the best and most thorough sites is http://www.kellymom.com. They also have a private mom-to-mom Facebook group that is moderated by lactation consultants, so if you have a question you will get professional advice as well as experiences from other moms. I won’t go into all their tips and advice here (because there is a lot!), I just recommend you read their articles and ask questions if you need to.
And on losing your supply, all those things you mentioned (hydration, cutting calories, and EPing) in addition to dropping weight too quickly, can all be causes/contributors. It sounds like you’re going into it with more awareness and a good attitude, which are both great indicators for success!
You are an amazing mom, and that won’t change based on how long you are able to breastfeed. Consulting with a lactation consultant was key for me, and I wish I had reached out to one earlier. My lactation consultant had amazing lactation cookie mixes too, which was a big plus. =)
I breast-fed my 4 babies, each until 2-3 years old. With all four of them, the first 6 weeks were just hard. The best advice I can give is to talk to a lactation consultant or call La Leche League, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Also, this item literally saved me:
I am super late with the comment here. But I am an avid reader of your blog and had to comment. My first son who is now 4, was born 4 weeks early and wouldn’t latch so I exclusively pumped. It was awful feeling like you had to connected to that pump 24/7. By month 2 or 3 I was done , and felt like a failure. Fast forward to now, I have a 10 month old he was born 3 days past his due date and it seemingly was like he came out and knew what to do. But above all what I absolutely believed saved my breastfeeding was a Medula nipple shield , this allowed him to latch easily! My hospital provided mine and I bought extra at target!! These literally are the best !! I’ve been back at work since my son was 3 months but i am still able to breastfeed when I am home. Please try the nipple shield it definitely took a lot of stress out of it for me ! Good luck!
I use the Snoogle pillow and it’s so great. Be sure to order a special pillow case for it! Also, amen to the 80% ice in your water cup craving.
So excited for you! Breastfeeding is painful- but I went into it knowing I COULD DO it and didn’t give myself any other options. I think the confidence in it helped carry me through the pain, cracked nipples, and moments my baby wouldn’t latch and I had to stand up and rock him in order to get him to feed. Another thing that helped: I also asked to see a lactation consultant at the hospital right after birth. I would recommend going to a breastfeeding class at you hospital prior. It really helps to understand or refresh on it so you are more successful. Also if baby doesn’t latch it could be 2 things: you need a nipple shield or they may be tongue tied in which they can get a simple procedure done and they will latch again. Wishing you the best no matter what the outcome! And like you said, it all works out in the end – breastfed or not.
I have been breastfeeding my little girl for over two years now. The first couple months were terrible-bleeding nipples, trouble latching (later found out she had a lip tie), she was hospitalized for an infection which also required pumping in the beginning. I remember just crying from the pain and the frustration while she nursed in those first few weeks. I ended up using a nipple shield when I couldn’t handle it without one anymore and finding support from a lactation consultant. I called my hospital’s lactation consultant at least once a week for the first three months and several times throughout the first year (along with visiting so she could observe my daughter’s latch to offer suggestions). Having that support and getting in the mindset that I needed to do this for my child was what got me through it. I ran quite a few races with her meeting me at the finish line to nurse. Now, she wants me to shower first, because I’m to sweaty, haha. You can do it, just trust in your body, relax, and find a lactation consultant to support you.
I forgot to mention, there are a lot of breastfeeding support groups on Facebook and other social media platforms that can be beneficial.
I was extremely lucky to have an exceptionally easy time breastfeeding journey with my son, that said, I did go back to work at 3 months post partum AND am a distance runner, so I did have some supply issues a few times. Things that helped me were 1) (easier said than done)- relax! Even just doing some yoga or a meditation would get my milk to come in better. 2) making sure I was getting enough calories/water… when I jumped back into running at 6 weeks I lost 10 lbs almost instantly. You could see my ribs on my chest. My supply dropped and I realized that I needed to seriously increase my calories. 3) (going along with #2) Lactation cookies! I made a ton of them, even kept some frozen balls of dough in the freezer in case of and emergency shortage during a supply drop. I used a recipe similar to this one: http://www.bellybelly.com.au/breastfeeding/lactation-cookies/ The key is the flax, oats and brewers yeast (get it from Amazon). They are delicious an SERIOUSLY helped.
Good luck! And you are so right, whatever happens, fed is best! ❤️
Nursing was a challenge for us but we made it 18 months. I had my baby in 2015. My #1 piece of advice is to find and work with a lactation counselor, preferably one who has a IBLCE credential. I found the counselors in the hospital were newer, just starting their careers, and not as helpful when it came to nursing challenges. I found a woman for free through my hospital system who has 30 years of experience and she is the reason we were able to nurse for so long. I met with her when my baby was 5 days old and continued to receive support through in person meetings and phone calls after that. Her services were also free, through the hospital system. I took it easy with workouts, not working out at all the first 6 weeks, except casual walks. Then I did begin working out again but it was not like pre-pregnancy. Honestly I also found nursing made me burn a ton of calories. After weaning in early 2017, I got back into running and ran several races this spring and summer. There are also healthy, natural supplements you can take to help with supply and foods, like oatmeal. Best of luck.